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Column 16:05 29 Dec 2020

Kharkiv of lost opportunities

Photo: city.kharkov.ua

Probably the most discussed event in December was the death of Kharkiv Mayor Hennadiy Kernes and his funeral in the style of the USSR leaders. The irrational sympathy of the city's residents for the mayor is understandable and shouldn't cause outrage, but what's terrible is the attempts to model a prominent mayor out of Kernes. They're trying to keep him in the historical memory as "pro-Russian and criminal, but a great city manager." But it's a lie.

Because, objectively, Kernes had little to gain as mayor. Rather, even the opposite. Under his rule, the "first Ukrainian capital" has become the largest district center in Ukraine, which has no influence on the national agenda.

We should start with the fact that Kharkiv is a city with incredible potential. Almost 1.5 million people. It is the 2nd largest city in Ukraine and 18th(!) in Europe. Moreover, it's actually the only large city in the region where all the labor force flows. Kharkiv has a huge number of universities, a lot of IT professionals, and artists.

And how did they manage to implement all this potential? They didn't.

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